Raw Milk Food Standards Australia

 As I mentioned yesterday, I did a bit of research on the ASNZ Food Standards website, and there has been a recent amendment to using raw milk food standards in cheese making.  Here is the regulation.
Standard 4.2.4 – Primary Production and Processing Standard for Dairy Products
16           Processing of dairy
products to make cheese and cheese products
Milk or dairy products used to make cheese or
cheese products must be processed –
(a)          in accordance with subclause
15(1); or
(b)          by being held at a temperature
of no less than 62°C for a period of no less than 15 seconds, and the cheese or
cheese product stored at a temperature of no less than 2°C for a period of 90
days from the date of processing; or
(c)          such that –
(i)            the curd is heated to a
temperature of no less than 48°C; and


(ii)           the cheese or cheese
product has a moisture content of less than 36%, after being stored at a
temperature of no less than 10°C for a period of no less than 6 months from the
date of processing; or
(d)          in accordance with clause 1 of
Standard 4.2.4A.

So I have two choices.  Pasteurize the milk, as per the instructions in (b) and then make cheese with it, or follow clause (c).

So that means that I can make Romano, Parmesan, and Gruyère with raw milk as long as I follow these rules.  Luckily all these cheese recipes comply or can be adapted to follow the rules.  With the cheese being at a lower temperature of 10°C vice the normal 13°C it will take a bit longer to mature anyway and loose a fair bit of moisture.  So will the rest of the cheese in the cheese fridge, but just for the taste it is a sacrifice that I am willing to take!

Here is to more raw milk cheese making!


  1. Anonymous says

    fuck pasteurisation it ruins the nutition of the milk and makes it poisonous causing heart disease diabetes and osteoporosis. Food poisoning from milk is usually from the pasteurised variety.

  2. says

    Hi Gavin – Why don't you just pasteurise the milk? It doesn't sound like it is hard to do, and it means that the final product will be safe, and you'll be able to sell it to anyone you want with no problems :)

    (and I really wish you could "beam" some over here, Star Trek-style – it looks soooooo yummy!)

  3. says

    Are you worried about the regs because you are selling your cheese?

    I used to make cheese with my goats milk. Since we drank it raw and since it would taste good and sweet for about three days, then begin to develop an off flavor, I would usually make a batch of cheese about every other day at the height of milking season.

    But I never pasteurized; just poured the milk into the pot and brought it up to about 90-100 degrees F. and add my sour milk starter. I experimented with lots of recipes and mostly made soft cheeses as I didn't have any good cool place to keep it to age.

    lots of fun and good eating though.

  4. Sid says


    The reason the milk is cooled is just to slow degradation by bacterial growth. If you use the milk directly after milking, then you don’t give the bacteria’s any chance to spoil the milk.

    Regulations about pasteurization of milk are there to protect the consumer against sickness from foodspoilage. In my mind that is a good thing! If you choose to make cheese for personal use and serve it to your family and friends, then you still have some explaining to do if serious sickness develop from your cheese. So please be careful. Educate yourself about bacterial spoilage of milk and learn where contamination can take place. It is all about hygiene and short storage times.

    Cheese made from pasteurized milk still contains acidifying bacteria from the starter culture that is being added during cheesemaking. If you want these bacteria, they are there. Unpasteurized milk contains other acidifying bacteria from the animal and the farm but only in rather small numbers. I personally think this will not increase the health benefits of the cheese. Unpasteurized milk does contain all the original enzymes of the raw milk. This influences and improves the taste of the cheese.

    Vat pasteurization is always slower than the 15 sec. called for in the regulations. Because of this the taste of the milk will change a bit. Therefore the difference in taste between vat pasteurized cheese and raw milk cheese will be more pronounced.

  5. says

    Brenda this is correct. If the cheese is for personal consumption rather than re-sale you can do what you like. In my opinion cheese tastes better that is made with raw milk + it contains more beneficial bacteria than the pasteurized stuff. I have a question for Sid. Can you make cheese directly after milking instead of cooling it then re-heating to make the cheese?

  6. Anonymous says

    I would have thought that the regs were for commercial operations. We never pastuerized milk at home. I've never known anyone that did. Is it something you do specifically for cheese making?

    brenda from arkansas

  7. Sid says

    Hi Gavin,

    It’s a good thing to follow the regulations in your area. I do have some remarks:
    Please note that the regulation sets lower limits not upper limits for the aging temperature.

    What is important with the use of raw milk is the possibility of the transfer of high numbers of harmful bacteria into your cheese. There are 3 steps in which these harmful bacteria can develop:
    Contamination from the animal into the milk while milking;
    Contamination from the containers that are used for milking and for transportation;
    Temperature and time of the milk allowing growth of these harmful bacteria during storage & transport & storage.

    The safe route for you is to pasteurize your milk. If you consider making cheese from raw milk, eliminate risks by making sure that:
    The farmer milking the animal uses optimal hygienic practices while milking.
    Make sure that the containers/bottles used for transportation are properly cleaned and sanitized
    Make sure that the time between the production of the milk and the production of the cheese is as short as possible; preferably within 24 hours. This calls for some coordination.
    Make sure that the milk is cooled down shortly after milking to 4 dgrC and that the temperature stays at this temperature during transport.

    You might want to consider making the cheese directly after milking in a clean setting on location. Then the cooling down if the milk is not needed, the time between milking and cheesemaking is minimal, and you can transport the curds as it is resting in the mould before pressing.

    Good luck.

    • barleysinger@creative-interweb.com says

      The primary reason for the introduction of mandatory pasteurization legislation (which began in the USA) was the terrible state of that portion of the meat and dairy industries ON THE EDGES OF CITIES (early 20th century).

      These were unsanitary; packed up tight. Cattle had no room to move. They provided milk and meat for cities in an era without easy access to refrigeration.

      The cattle yards & slaughter houses & dairies sat next to the POOR areas cities & were seriously unsanitary. Animals were packed together at extreme population densities with resultant high disease levels and infected wounds. Sick and infected animals were not quarantined but USED. Rats were everywhere. Stock levels were so high that workers were commonly crushed to death.

      Their milk contained infected blood, pus and feces.
      So did the milk produced TODAY by the four MASSIVE industrial dairy operations in the USA – which produce most US milk.

      Instead requiring 3rd party certification to sell milk AT ALL and a higher level certification for RAW MILK – they made everyone look the same. Pasteurization for all (no questions please).

      This was initially done due to refrigeration limits but when THAT was no longer an issue, regulations got TIGHTER (pasteurization was made mandatory for all milk sold – no matter what you could prove with science)

      In smaller CLEAN farms conditions that made pasteurization needed don't exist.Those people give raw milk to their kids straight out of the cow! There is no way they would let diseased cows and infected blood and pus get into it.

      But the government took the easier way & killed the milk instead. Killed is accurate as milk contains *living enzymes* which are what the majority of the health benefits come from and what allows humans digest it. When pasteurized the enzymes are gone. Many people can't digest it. It isn't surprising that lots of folks who can;t tolerate pasteurized milk have no trouble with raw milk.

      *** TIMES CHANGES ***

      science grew up, but governments did not.
      * Refrigeration became easy
      * People discovered the value of the enzymes in milk
      * 3rd party safety/ quality certification is common

      Is the OLD METHOD being kept for our safety?

      That depends on how you look at it. If you believe that the four huge US operation that make most of the US milk, and who have pus, infected blood and feces in their milk – OUGHT to be able to sell milk in that condition – they YES

      If you think that they ought to be forced to clean up – then the answer is more intelligent (accurate to this era) regulations.

      So why not change? It would hurt the reputations of those big four dairy outfits in the USA.

      A more sensible approach with testing of the milk and certification for it and for the dairy operations cleanliness instead, would tell the world that THOSE FOUR big companies cannot cannot pass the cleanliness standards needed for unpasteurized milk. That woudl make them look bad and those huge companies have a lot of political influence in Washington DC.

      As long as EVERYONE must pasteurize, they look the same.

      Mild you these 4 operations are almost exactly the same as the ones that horrified people a century ago, and which spawned the creation of the USDA and enforced pasteurization laws.

      If there used a certification process instead, with some dairies aiming for RAW status and others for PASTEURIZED status…all based around testing by independent certification bodies … people who showed up unannounced and looked at the contamination in the milk, the health of the animals, population densities, overall cleanliness (all by random unannounced inspections) ….what would that *say* to the general public about the BIG FOUR dairy operations?

      These four companies could never ever qualify for a RAW production certification. SO what would that do to their sales?

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